Cooking Classes and New Year's Eve in Oaxaca
I've read some older reviews of cooking classes, but was hoping to get some recent recommendations or reviews for classes. We're looking at Casa de los Sabores, Casa Crespo, Alma de mi Tierra, and Chef Agustin (not sure the name of his classes!) and we want to take several classes so we don't mind trying a few different ones.
I'd also love a recommendation for a nice place for New Year's Eve dinner.
Last things first: for New Year's Eve dinner, see if either Casa Oaxaca or Restaurante Origen will be open. Generally on New Year's Eve in Mexico, restaurants sell a fixed-price meal including a glass or so of bubbly and the traditional 12 grapes. Dinner is generally quite late in the evening so that everyone can celebrate the midnight arrival of the year.
Look here for New Year's traditions: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cooks/2013/01/pr%C3%B3spero-a%C3%B1o-nuevo-happy-new-year-mexican-style.html
Bear in mind that many restaurants and cooking schools are closed during the Christmas/New Year holidays. Having said that, once you know that Casa de los Sabores is open, that's the one I'd go for. Chef Pilar Cabrera, owner of the cooking school, is a marvelous chef and an excellent teacher. Second choice would be Casa Crespo.